(Photo by Tony Abraham)
A handful of Kensington high schoolers with Norris Square Neighborhood Project (NSNP) are learning how to build an Earthship. Some of them are even getting paid to do it.
The day before Earth Day, NSNP youth took the the nonprofit’s garden space to plant some crops, paint some new signs and make a bit of progress on their Earthship, which will eventually be a greenhouse.
Four of the students actually do this regularly.
“It’s pretty much a paid internship. We come in three times a week for three hours to learn about plants, agriculture and leadership development,” said Manny Coreano, a high schooler in NSNP programming. “We help develop lesson plans and work for the students and do fun activities like this.”
The youths generally aren’t hedging away at laborious landscaping tasks for very long, said NSNP’s development and marketing manager Amanda Morales Pratt (née Cameron). Sometimes an hour, sometimes more — but they do make progress on the Earthship, which should be complete sometime next spring.
And while hard labor under the hot sun isn’t something you might expect a typical high school student to enjoy doing after sitting through eight hours of class, the kids find fulfillment in NSNP’s activities.
The pay certainly helps for the four interns, but it’s more than just the money that motivates Coreano to do this three times a week.
“I needed money, but I want to be a teacher when I grow up.”
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